Postal workers intercept letter with bullets addressed to Pope, police identify suspect

Postal workers intercept letter with bullets addressed to Pope, police identify suspect

Less than 24 hours after postal workers at a sorting facility in Peschiera town of Borromeo, near Milan in Italy found three pistol bullets in a letter sent to Pope Francis, police authorities in Italy say they have identified the sender of the envelope.

The letter addressed to "The Pope, Vatican City, St. Peter's Square, Rome", is believed to have been sent from France.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) Communication Manager, David Dadge, commended the workers who discovered the ammunition.

Dadge said the discovery shows that mail persons are not just deliverers of mail, "they are on the frontline when trying to keep the public safe".

The spokesman noted that postal workers, who process billions of letter and parcels annually, risk handling bullets, bombs and deadly drugs.

Following the discovery, Italian Police provided an update on the probe after analyzing the bullets and handwriting.

According to Catholic News Agency, the police have not released the name of the individual, but announced that the suspect is a French citizen "already known to Vatican security, with whom the Carabinieri of Milan will now coordinate to evaluate the meaning of the gesture and its possible danger."

At the moment, according to the Italian news agency ANSA, "the information that most interests investigators is knowing where he is because it would raise a different level of alarm to know if he were in France or in St. Peter's Square in Rome."

The police originally revealed that the envelope contained three pieces of 9-millimetre ammunition, of the kind used in a Flobert gun, and a message referring to financial operations in the Vatican.

The statement also reveals that the envelope contained a copy of a 10 Euro deposit, but it is not immediately clear for what and under what circumstances it would have been made.

The mail, which had no return address but carried a French stamp, was addressed to "The Pope, Vatican City, St. Peter's Square in Rome".

The manager of an Italian post office branch in the town of Peschiera Borromeo, about seven miles southeast of Milan, alerted authorities when he found the suspicious piece of mail during sorting on the night of August 8.